Security, peace of Turkish Cypriots essential for Ankara, Deputy PM Akdağ says

Published 30.08.2017 00:00
Updated 30.08.2017 00:01

Deputy Prime Minister in charge of relations with Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC) Recep Akdağ has said that relations between Turkey and the KKTC are invaluable and the latter's security and peace are of utmost importance to Ankara.Akdağ made the remarks in Nicosia, where he attended talks on Aug. 29 and Aug. 30.

"The Republic of Turkey considers the Turkish Cypriot as an indispensable part of itself and, therefore, the security, peace and welfare [of the KKTC] are essential to us," he said during a breakfast held with members of the press yesterday.

Touching upon Turkey's status as the guarantor state in Cyprus, Akdağ said: "We have a bond of communion which is more important than being a guarantor. We will never allow the violation of Turkish Cypriots' rights in this country."

During the event, the deputy prime minister underlined that since the beginning Turkey's aim has been to sustain peace on the island and stressed that Turkish Cypriots are willing to contribute to the efforts in line with that idea. However, he reminded that Turkey will neither approve nor tolerate any wrong doings on the Cyprus issue.

The deputy prime minister pointed out that a number of projects toward reaching a peaceful solution have been carried out as part of a TL 3.5-billion ($1.01 billion) deal between Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot over a two-year period.

"All these efforts aim to meet the KKTC's demand for infrastructure."

He added that the two countries have jointly been working on a number of projects in various fields including health and road communication.

Arriving in Nicosia on Aug. 28, Akdağ was received by KKTC President Mustafa Akıncı.Commenting on the Cyprus issue Akdağ said: "The Republic of Turkey has always advocated a peaceful resolution. We want to see that the two sides are living in peace with equal rights. We will maintain our efforts to reach a common resolution."Meanwhile, Akıncı said that it became obvious that the open-ended talks were not producing any solutions, referring to the failed talks in Crans-Montana, Switzerland.

"With the same understanding and method, you will arrive at the same place. We have tried these several times. Now, it is time to think. Both the Turkish and Greek sides, as well as the U.N., have to make evaluations and find the best way," said President Akıncı during the meeting.

The Crans-Montana talks, which began on June 28 in Switzerland, failed to result in a common resolution between the Turkish and Greek Cypriot sides.

The talks, aimed at the reunification of the island, were held under the auspices of the U.N.'s special envoy on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide and lasted 10 days.

After the talks failed, President Akıncı contended that a two-state solution might be imminent unless a political solution is reached.

As part of his visit, Akdağ held talks with the delegates of the KKTC Chamber of Industry and Trade and university rectors approved by the Council of Higher Education (YÖK), as well as the representatives of some prominent non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Nicosia on Aug. 28.

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